BALTIMORE (AP) — Poised and confident, unbeaten and virtually unhittable, Tyler Glasnow bears no resemblance to the pitcher who entered this season with a 4-16 career record.
Glasnow pitched seven innings of three-hit ball to earn his major league-leading sixth win, and the Tampa Bay Rays got a slump-breaking homer from Mike Zunino in a 7-0 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Glasnow (6-0) struck out eight, walked none and lowered his AL-best ERA to 1.47. It’s been an impressive turnaround for the right-hander, who was a combined 2-7 with Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay last year.
“It doesn’t look like very much fun stepping into the batter’s box against him right now,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He just continues to impress with the things that he’s done with his delivery — the mechanics, the consistency of it. All of those things are playing a role.”
Glasnow also has a pitch he can rely upon in any instance.
“I think the biggest thing for me has been just mixing in the changeup,” he said. “I’m getting some called strikes and I’m getting some swinging strikes. It helps me keep everyone off balance.”
Zunino, Tampa Bay’s catcher, said, “His curveball is obviously great, but being able to have that changeup . I hate to call it a new toy, but it sort of is.”
The first time Glasnow went up against Baltimore this season, he retired the last 10 batters he faced in a 4-2 victory. This time, Glasnow started with 11 straight outs before Dwight Smith Jr. beat out an infield grounder.
Glasnow gave up a single in each of the next two innings but did not allow a runner past first base.
“That was electric stuff. Really, really good,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Glasnow is the first pitcher in franchise history to begin the season with seven consecutive starts of at least five innings without yielding more than two runs.
On this occasion, he received ample offensive support from a variety of teammates. Zunino snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a three-run homer off Dan Straily (1-2) to make it 4-0 in the fourth inning, Tommy Pham had three hits and two RBIs and rookie Nate Lowe picked up his first big league RBI with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
In an AL East matchup between the first place Rays and the last place Orioles, Tampa Bay got the only run it needed before Straily recorded the first out.
Brandon Lowe and Pham opened the game with successive doubles for a 1-0 lead. The Rays wasted a leadoff triple by Kevin Kiermaier in the second but batted around in a four-run fourth that including a sacrifice fly by Ji-Man Choi.
Baltimore finished with five hits, all of them singles, because Glasnow was just too good.
“Dude threw a good game,” said Trey Mancini, who struck out four times. “He was absolutely disgusting.”
Rays: INF Matt Duffy (hamstring tightness) began his rehabilitation assignment Friday night with Class A Charlotte., going 0 for 3 and playing third base. “We’ll just kind of take it day to day and see what we’re hearing from him,” Cash said. … RHP Jose De Leon (Tommy John surgery) is slated to pitch two inning for Charlotte on Saturday, his first outing since August 2017. … OF Austin Meadows (right thumb sprain) had the cast removed and has started to hit off a tee.
Orioles: LHP Richard Bleier (left shoulder tendinitis) has been throwing well in extended spring training and “coming out of games healthy,” according to Hyde. Bleier’s velocity is on the rise but Hyde said there is no timetable for his return. … Eager to get back to the big leagues after a 20-game debut in 2017, minor league OF Austin Hays (thumb injury) began his rehab assignment with a six-inning stint in extended spring training.
Rays: After the game, Cash changed his starter for Saturday from RHP Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.81 ERA). It will be his ninth start, yet he has thrown only 16 innings over 13 appearances.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (0-4, 6.67) starts for the seventh time, still looking for his first win of 2019. He’s allowed nine HRs in 28 1/3 innings and has lost four straight starts.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports